Recently, I was asked to hold a talk on books for some of my colleagues, and the afternoon before the book-talk, I picked up Ari Behn’s latest. The likelihood that someone else had read it was slim, since it’s just come out, and it was thin (unlike the latest tome on the Queen Mother, which I still haven’t got around to opening), so it was definitely a quick read.
Vivian Seving, etc. is about Vivian Seving, a former movie “star” who was married to a German (or possibly Austrian) hereditary prince. The book starts after he is dead, and Princess Vivian then has to face the press (including rabid bloggers) on her own.
It turns out that the picture-perfect life that Vivian and Prince Franz has created for the press, isn’t so picture-perfect, and it crumbles when Prince Franz isn’t around to keep up appearances. Vivian isn’t a Canadian movie star, but originally from Moss in Norway. Which is the same place that Ari is from, incidentally. And Prince Franz has been in a homosexual relationship with one of the more rabid bloggers, who ended up giving him the HIV/AIDS that he died from.
There are plenty of other twists and turns like that in the book, which does not make it boring to talk about, or review 😉
The appearance of a former employee at the Norwegian court, who likes to portray himself as a royal expert in the media makes the book feel like it is just another part in the vendetta Ari Behn had against the former court employee, turned royal expert, Grimstad in the beginning of 2009. But what do I know?
As I said, it is not a thick book, so it is a quick read. I’m still on the fence whether I liked it or not; I don’t think it is an exceptionally well-written book, it is too jumbled, but it gives a bit of insight into what it is for someone to live in the spotlight without being able to defend themselves from the rumours and machinations of the press.
Vivian Seving, etc. by Ari Behn. Published on Gyldendal Norsk Forlag, 2009. 160 p.